Mix ’em Up, Part 2: Focus Blending in Photoshop CS4

This is the second of a series of posts on digital darkroom techniques describing digital darkroom techniques that “combine” groups of images towards various ends.

Focus blending is a technique for combining a series of images of the same scene to create a resulting image with a wider depth-of-field. Focus blending is best-known to aficionados of macro photography, as depth-of-field at close distances is almost always razor-thin even at the tiniest apertures. While best known in macro circles, it could benefit any type of photography where it’s impossible or pragmatic to get enough depth-of-field. (more…)

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Mix ’em Up, Part 1: Introduction to Combining Images in Photoshop CS4

The advent of digital photography has opened up an array of new techniques for working with and combining multiple images in pursuit of technical perfection. Three of the most popular techniques in this category are panoramic stitching, focus blending, and high-dynamic range imaging.

As of Photoshop CS4, Adobe now includes some level of support for applying all three of these techniques without external tools. In this post, I’ll provide a brief overview of the three techniques and the problems they’re intended to solve. In future posts, I’ll address each of the three techniques individually, provide an example or two, and discuss both Photoshop’s built-in tools for applying those techniques as well as talking about third-party solutions and other alternatives. (more…)

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